Paul Smith Taps a New York Menswear Darling to Supercharge His Archives

Sir Paul Smith is a bit of a menswear legend. Since founding his eponymous label in 1970, Smith’s cheeky riff on British style, coupled with a pioneering approach to experiential retail, has transformed his brand into a global powerhouse, earning him a knighthood twice, in two different countries. Over the decades, the designer has accrued enough wisdom to fill a dense coffee table tome, and he’s not stingy about sharing it. Last year, the veteran garmento launched &PaulSmith, a new venture that’s part fashion incubator, part mentorship program, in an effort to spotlight emerging talents on fashion’s bleeding edge. The latest upstart to benefit from Smith’s sharp curatorial eye? Commission, the New York-based industry darling GQ named one of the most exciting brands on the planet.

Commission was founded five years ago by Dylan Cao and Jin Kay, who pull heavily from their shared East Asian culture and the clothes their parents wore in the ‘80s and ’90s. That emphasis on family led them to one of Smith’s more personal works, a photography book titled “Father + Son,” made in collaboration with his father. Using the book as a springboard, Cao and Kay dove into the Paul Smith archives, plumbing the British designer’s late ’90s and early 2000s runway collections for inspiration.

The result is a wave of track stripes, jolting tones, and oversized silhouettes that feel equally indebted to—and at home with—Smith’s legacy and Commission’s downtown cool: cropped bombers painted lipstick red, military-inspired leather jackets slathered in butter yellow, and punk-ish jeans splashed with retro-sleazy animal prints. Needless to say, it’s an absolute blast—and it’s all going to sell out quickly.

Shop the Paul Smith x Commission collaboration exclusively at Paul Smith and SSENSE, or keep scrolling to see the full collection below.

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